Paul Schrader was given no money for publicity or music production after Morgan Creek decided to release his version. He was also only given $35,000 for visual effects and post-production (which explains the shoddy computer graphics and inconsistent audio quality). Additionally, Morgan Creek chose the release date of May 20th, the weekend Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) came out.
Paul Schrader was originally hired as director of Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), but Morgan Creek ultimately rejected his "psychological thriller" approach, saying it was "commercially unmarketable". The decision was made to extensively rewrite and re-shoot the script, re-cast several roles, add new characters and give the director's chair to Renny Harlin. Schrader's version was originally supposed to be released direct to video, as a bonus feature on the DVD release of Harlin's version. However, in the wake of Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)'s box office failure, Morgan Creek abandoned this idea, allowing Schrader to present his version at several film festivals, as well as giving it a small scale theatrical release in several countries under a new title (Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist). Schrader's version also received support from William Peter Blatty, who said to The Houston Chronicle that Schrader's version is "a handsome, classy, elegant piece of work."
John Frankenheimer voluntarily stepped down from directing the Exorcist prequel (then referred to as "Exorcist: Dominion") one month before his death in July 2002. Paul Schrader took on this project later in 2002.
Despite getting a screenplay credit on this film as opposed to the story credit he got on Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), co-writer Caleb Carr referred to this movie as "garbage" in an interview shortly before its eventual release, and deemed the version re-shot by Renny Harlin to be far superior.